Baseball: Many big-name pitchers found reason to say no to the World Baseball Classic. R.A. Dickey was an automatic yes.
The knuckleball master, winner of the N.L. Cy Young Award with the New York Mets last season now plying his unorthodox trade with Toronto, made it known before anyone asked him that he wished to play.
Now he will start for the United States in its WBC opener tonight against Mexico, something he calls “one of the greater privileges of my athletic career.”
At 38, Dickey is the oldest player on the U. S. roster. As such, he remembers being a part of the U.S. team at the 1996 Olympics and wants to atone for the disappointment of that bronze medal of 17 years ago.
“So this is a chance to redeem that in a lot of ways,” he said. Dickey is one of three starting pitchers on the 28-man U.S. roster competing in Group D in Arizona and by far the biggest name. San Francisco’s Ryan Vogelsong will start Saturday against Italy, with Texas’ Derek Holland going against Canada on Sunday.
Following round- robin play, the top two teams advance to the second round next week in Florida. There, a fourth starter, the Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez, will join the fray.
Michael Jordan plans to remarry
Basketball: Former NBA star and Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan and his fiancee appeared at the main Palm Beach County (Fla.) courthouse Thursday morning to apply for a marriage license. That’s according to Kathy Burstein, a spokeswoman for the clerk’s office. Jordan got engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Cuban- American model Yvette Prieto, in December 2011.
They have until May 9 to use their marriage license.
It will be the second marriage for No. 23.